The Bible Is Clear: Our Appearance Matters
Karen Pansler Lam, J.D.
Today, modern Christians insist that God looks on the heart and we are not to judge by the outward appearance. They insist our appearance doesn’t matter. This devilish lie is rooted in the 1960s hippie rebellion.
Before the 1960s, men acted like men, and women acted like women. And you could readily tell them apart by their dress and mannerisms.
But hippies rebelled against the Biblical command of feminine women and masculine men. They glorified the androgynous model Twiggy, the long-haired Beatles, and others glorifying the mixing of masculine and feminine characteristics. Jeans were used to promote a sexless and classless society – a new social order. And, unfortunately, many listened to the anti-establishment beat of rebellion against Biblical commands, including distinct dress of men and women.
However, the Bible makes it very clear that it is unnatural and indecent for the one sex to assume the dress of the other. Such a change of dress is declared to be an abomination to the Lord. And as evidenced over the past few decades, it may lead to immorality. At first, you may scoff at the suggestion that it may lead to immorality. But evidence is in plain sight…look at the queer agenda today. Irrefutably, unisex clothing incites rebellion against the divinely instituted distinction between male and female – including rebellion against heterosexuality.
Christians must uphold the distinction in dress for men and women. Unfortunately, the modern church promotes unisex dressing by encouraging congregants to wear jeans, athletic shoes, T-shirts, and other unisex clothing. This is part of the new social order of the New Church Order which is rooted in the New World Order.
Rebellion Against God’s Command of Distinction in Clothes
Clothes send a message. The clearest message is “I am a man” or “I am a woman.” However, some people – including Christians – rebel against the Biblical command of dress for men and women. But God commanded the Israelites…
shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man,
While the costume of tunic and cloak for men and women were very similar, there was an easily recognizable distinction between the male and female attire of the Israelites. The difference between the dress of men and women was small, consisting chiefly in the fineness of the materials and the length of the garment. The dress of their hair was also different. And women wore a veil. The differences made an easily recognizable distinction between man and woman.
Today, even after taking two or three glances, you may not be sure of the gender of some by their clothes. And sometimes you can’t even tell by their hair: men wear long hair; women wear short hair. In 1 Corinthians 11:14 God discusses the hair style of men and in verse 15 speaks about the length of women’s hair.
Doth not even
nature itself teach you, that,
But if a
woman have long hair, it is her glory to her:
Matthew Henry comments:
Should there not be a distinction kept up between the sexes in wearing
their hair, since nature has made one? Is it not a distinction which
nature has kept up among all civilized nations? The woman's hair is a
natural covering; to wear it long is a glory to her; but for a man to
have long hair, or cherish it, is a token of softness and effeminacy.
Note, It should be our concern, especially in Christian and religious
assemblies, to make no breach upon the rules of natural decency.
Undeniably, the Bible expressly forbids long hair for men and short hair for women.
Moreover, Christians should wear their hair naturally, and not wear worldly and unnatural rebellious haircuts: “edgy” or “cool” cuts or dyed unnatural colors (purple, pink, green, etc.). To dye our hair unnatural colors is to shake our fist at God’s choice of hair colors for man and woman.
And tattoos, nose rings and other body piercing are barbaric and forbidden by Scripture.
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead,
nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.
Clearly, the barbaric practice of tattooing or piercing is unbecoming to the dignity of God’s people. We must never mar our bodies - His creation - with permanent marking, deliberate scarring, piercing, and other mutilation. Besides tattoos and other mutilations are generally associated with gangs, criminals, and heathen tribes. Tattooing has always been connected with idolatrous practices. Often, it is believed that the wearer of an image calls the spirit of that image.
When we are born again, we are a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). And we are “an ambassador on behalf of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17-20). We are not only an ambassador on behalf of Christ in words, but in our appearance.
Getting back to distinctive dress for man and woman…
God created us male or female with distinctive natures and functions. The distinctions between man and woman must not be blurred by our appropriating the characteristic clothing of the other. Irrefutably, unisex clothing that blurs our gender is expressly forbidden in the Bible.
Clothing Is a Political and Social Message
Clothing not only distinguishes male and female, clothing also sends a political and social message. For example, when a person, family, or nation advances in prosperity, they dress better. Clothing often indicates social class.
Sadly, some pastors have been indoctrinated with Rick Warren’s communist ideology of a classless church/society by dictating that we dress down (preferably jeans) when we attend church. But this is nothing new. Communist cult leader Jim Jones used the same communist propaganda.
In 1956, Jim Jones opened his first Pentecostal church and named it Wings of Deliverance. But later that year he renamed it the Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church. In order to increase publicity, the Temple organized large religious “conventions” with other Pentecostals to disguise the fact that he was using religion to further social goals, not preach the true Gospel.
The Temple stressed egalitarian ideals, asking members to attend in casual clothes under the guise that poor members would not feel out of place. Well, my grandparents were poor traveling evangelists, but they had church clothes – their Sunday best. And so did other poor church folks. Communist Jones was just using a lie – so poor members would not feel out of place – to advocate a classless communist church.
Likewise, Communist Rick Warren asks members to wear casual clothes supposedly to make church welcoming to sinners. But his true purpose is to stress egalitarian ideals. If we all dress down it is a step toward a classless community. Not just a classless economic society, but also a classless cultural community. Rick Warren and other communist religious leaders promote a classless community by encouraging us to dress down, especially by wearing jeans.
Jeans are a heavy, strong, twilled cotton, used in making uniforms and work clothes. Levi Strauss & Co. – the first company to manufacture jeans – boasts that jeans have served as a powerful symbol of social advancement embodying rebellion, revolution and progress since their creation.
Levi Strauss & Co. boasts that jeans in the …
30s Jeans promoted gender equality…
Hollywood promoted jeans as a garment of rebellion…
And jeans as a symbol of rebellion continued…
Punk rock made ripped jeans a political expression of anger and protest in the 70s……
cuts and the incisions over the jeans were made as mark of anger towards
society. This came to be seen as political movement. Madonna among other
celebrities popularised the trend, and soon fans started following the
trend. Hence, a political expression of anger and protest turned into a
fashion trend. Initially, fans and followers ripped their jeans at home,
but soon denim companies commercialised the trend and introduced the
‘ripped jeans’ as part of their consumer goods.
However, clothing as an expression of feelings and character is nothing new. It’s ancient history…
The clothing worn by the Hebrew people of Biblical times was graceful, modest, and exceedingly significant. They were considered so much a part of those who wore them that they not only told who and what they were, but were intended as external symbols of the individual’s innermost feelings and deepest desires, and his moral urge to represent God aright. With certain kinds of cloth and with astonishing vivid colors of white, purple, scarlet, blue, yellow, and black, they represented the state of their minds and emotions. When joyful and ready to enter into festive occasions, they donned their clothing of brightest array, and when they mourned or humbled themselves, they put on sackcloth – literally cloth from which sacks were made – which was considered the very poorest kind of dress, and quite indicative of their lowly feelings.
Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, 1963
So, let’s translate this into modern times…
The clothing worn by the Christian people of today is immodest, inelegant, vain, and exceeding significant both politically and socially. They are considered so much a part of those who wear them that they not only tell who and what they are, but are intended as external symbols of the individual’s innermost feelings and deepest desires, and his urge to be rebellious and religiously and politically correct. With dark colors – even in the bright sun of summer – they represent the state of their dark minds and dark emotions. When entering into festive occasions such as Easter, when they attend church, they don clothes that protest Easter as a holy day and don the communist uniform of jeans (sometimes ripped) and T-shirts and dirty athletic shoes. In fact, when they go to church on any given Sunday, they don jeans and T-shirts and dirty athletic shoes, or other irreverent wear to protest that a church is the Lord’s house that deserves reverence and honor. And when they go to stores, restaurants, travel – anywhere – they wear the same communist jeans and T-shirt uniform.
There is nothing wrong with men or women wearing jeans to do manual labor. And there is nothing wrong with women wearing feminine and attractive slacks or shorts for sports or travel.
If we are a born-again Christian, then we are a part of the Church – the Bride of Christ. And as the Bride of Christ, we should adorn ourselves with beauty.
Woman: Modesty and Beauty
The Bible instructs women to dress in modest apparel. But Rev. W.M. Statham explains modest dress does not mean renouncing adornment:
manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
1 Timothy 2:9.—Modest adornment. "That women adorn themselves in modest apparel." The gospel never permits asceticism. As God is the God of beauty, and nature is clothed with garments (like the high priest of old) of glory and beauty, so here we have the true idea carried out in religion. Women are "to adorn themselves." God's most beautiful work in creation, the human frame, is to be fitly appareled; for, to this day, art knows no higher subject than the human face and form.
But—I. MODESTY IS TO BE THE SPIRIT OF ALL ADORNMENT, because the nature of the being adorned is a sacred nature. Woman is the true guardian of virtue. Her manner, her temper, her spirit,—all these constitute the best defense of virtue.
II. DRESS IS THE SYMBOL OF CHARACTER. If there is absence of shame-heartedness, there will be absence of shame-facedness. The womanhood of that age had sunk very low. By turns woman had been the toy or slave of man. The gospel uplifted her; for we are all equal in the sight of God. There was neither male nor female there; and she must help the great ideal, and by modest apparel show the innate modesty of her thought and feeling. For, say what we like, dress acts upon the mind and character. Dress like a clown, and you will feel like a clown. Modest apparel need not be shorn of taste and refinement and true beauty. It is no dishonor to a woman that she likes dress. It is not Christian to destroy that taste; but that which becometh women professing godliness is modest though beautiful apparel.—W.M.S.
Christians used to dress with taste and refinement and beauty before hippies declared war on all standards: there is no such thing as right and wrong; no such thing as good taste and bad taste; no such thing as good judgment and bad judgment; no such thing as Truth...and so forth.
Today, women dress to be "comfortable" (even though dress clothes and nice casual clothes are comfortable), hip, edgy or other politically correct fashion.
And, needless to say, Christian women should not dress like whores. Proverbs 7:10 tells us that there is such a thing as the "attire of an harlot."
To repeat, as God is the God of beauty, and nature is clothed with garments (like the high priest of old) of glory and beauty, so here we have the true idea carried out in religion. Women are "to adorn themselves." God's most beautiful work in creation, the human frame, is to be fitly appareled; for, to this day, art knows no higher subject than the human face and form.
It is not a sin for women to adorn themselves with beautiful dresses and jewelry. Our dress should have the grace, the beauty, the appropriateness of natural simplicity. The Bible warns against vanity, not against grace and natural beauty.
Man: Made in the Image of God
There is no specific Scripture addressed to men on how to dress. But based on creation, every Christian man should dress well. Why? Man is made in the image of God.
man indeed ought not to cover his head,
Matthew Henry explains:
...the man is the image and glory of God, the representative of that glorious dominion and headship which God has over the world. It is the man who is set at the head of this lower creation, and therein he bears the resemblance of God. The woman, on the other hand, is the glory of the man (v. 7): she is his representative. Not but she has dominion over the inferior creatures, as she is a partaker of human nature, and so far is God's representative too, but it is at second-hand. She is the image of God, inasmuch as she is the image of the man: For the man was not made out of the woman, but the woman out of the man, v. 8. The man was first made, and made head of the creation here below, and therein the image of the divine dominion; and the woman was made out of the man, and shone with a reflection of his glory, being made superior to the other creatures here below, but in subjection to her husband, and deriving that honour from him out of whom she was made.
So, why should a man dress well? Because God crowned man with glory and honor. Man represents the authority of God; he is the ruler, the head. Man was brought into existence through creation by God. His body is made of the dust of the ground and his soul of the breath of God (Gen. 2:7). Man is thus a soul with a body. Man alone of all creatures upon earth is truly a rational and moral and religious being, and is capable of salvation and communion with God.
Therefore, men should dress with dignity. Whether it’s for business, dress wear, sports, or casual – correct grooming and a neat appearance is important to show respect for yourself and the Creator who made you in His own image.
Today, the New Church Order rebels against suits and other men’s dress wear as symbols of authority. The New Church Order dress code of jeans symbolizes rebellion against patriarchal society and patriarchal churches. But every man’s wardrobe should include suits (no effeminate skinny suits) for weddings, funerals, church and business. And his wardrobe should include dress trousers, not just jeans.
Every Christian man should dress well because he is made in the image of God.
The Virtuous Woman: Appearance Matters
Before the decline of Christian culture in America, it was natural that we wanted to look our best. And home economics textbooks of the 1950s and 1960s told us how to look our best: good grooming, cleanliness, posture, and choosing attractive clothes and how to take care of them. Those who didn’t want to look their best were either slobs or lazy.
Today, only immature or indifferent or ignorant or rebellious people do not want to look their best. But this is contrary to the Bible. God’s Word teaches we should be concerned with making a good appearance. As a godly example, the virtuous woman was concerned with her family making a good appearance.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household:
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
Matthew Henry comments: “All her household are clothed in scarlet, strong cloth and fit for winter, and yet rich and making a good appearance.”
Reverend W.J. Deane explains...
For all her household are clothed with scarlet; with warm garments. The word used is shanim, derived from a verb meaning “to shine,” and denoting a crimson or deep scarlet colour. This colour was supposed, and rightly, to absorb and retain heat, as white to repel it; being made of wool, the garments would be warm as well as stately in appearance.”
The Pulpit Commentary, “Proverbs,” v. 20, 600.
The virtuous woman was concerned not only with the practicality of her family’s clothing, but also their appearance. The virtuous woman believed that making a good appearance mattered for herself and her family every day.
Our Sunday Best
Some people argue that God doesn’t care how you dress, even for church – appearance doesn’t matter. Well, He cared about the appearance of the animals Israelites presented for a sacrifice…
not sacrifice unto the Lord thy God any bullock,
So, why would we present ourselves in God’s house as a living sacrifice with tattoos and body piercing; jeans (rebellion against reverence); tennis shoes, shorts, flip flops, other play clothes; and other sinful or disrespectful “blemishes”?
We must offer our best appearance when we present ourselves in His holy house. Women should adorn themselves in beautiful dresses, and men in suits made from beautiful material.
Nature Is Clothed in Beauty
Beauty is of God for He has clothed nature in beauty. Our ancestors wisely understood this…
Moreover, we cannot but feel that God is a lover of dress. He has put on robes of beauty and glory upon all his works. Every flower is dressed in richness; every field blushes beneath a mantle of beauty; every star is veiled in brightness; every bird is clothed in the habiliments of the most exquisite taste. The cattle upon the thousand hills are dressed by the hand divine. Who, studying God in his works, can doubt that he will smile upon the evidence of correct taste manifested by his children in clothing the forms he has made them.
And in 1905, E.S. Martin, a well-known author, addressed the growing concern that too much interest in clothes at Easter distracted from the religious significance of the day. He wrote in Harper’s Weekly a defense of New York’s annual Easter parade made up of onlookers who came to see and be seen in their new Easter clothes down fashionable Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday…
There is a great outpouring of flowers at Easter….Every one who feels the Easter spirit and can lay hands on a flower keeps the flower in sight to show his sympathy with the prevailing sentiment. As flowers adorn the earth, so do pretty clothes adorn the dwellers upon it, and if flowers bloom for the glory of their Maker, so may bloom the clothes, too….
Why shouldn’t women adorn the streets like flowers adorn the countryside?
Why shouldn’t men adorn themselves with beautiful suits and other clothing that make a handsome appearance?
Like the ancient Hebrews, Christians should dress to represent God aright. After all, we are children of the King. We represent Christ’s Kingdom.
Your Body Is the Temple of the Holy Ghost
If you are a born-again Christian, then your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost…
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
If we truly believe our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost, then we will clothe them with holiness and beauty.
No Reverence in God's House
Rick Warren’s Religious Communism
Easter Is a Holy
The Church Is the Lord's House